Virgil van Dijk will not play for Southampton against Swansea, according to Mauricio Pellegrino.

Having handed in a transfer request this week, it comes as no surprise that Virgil van Dijk won’t be in the squad to host Swansea tomorrow afternoon.

The Dutchman released an explosive statement alongside his transfer request which has made his relationship with Southampton fans untenable.

Yet, Mauricio Pellegrino seems to harbour hope that his captain will come to his senses and rejoin his teammates.

Speaking at his first official press conference as Southampton manager, Pellegrino was asked about van Dijk and his availability and the Saints boss said that the Dutch defender hasn’t trained for two days due to a virus he’s been struggling with.

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Pellegrino said: “My reaction is the same I said three weeks ago. We are expecting him to come back to train with us because we need the player.

“We cannot control every single situation. Virgil is part of our club. He has a contract but we are now waiting.

“Hopefully he can change his point of view. The club was clear from the beginning with the player.”

And on whether he will play against Swansea: “No, no, as this week he was with some trouble with a virus. He couldn’t train the last two days.”

Pellegrino’s comments align with most media reports in recent days with it being widely reported that Southampton are hopeful that van Dijk will accept that he is not for sale.

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This morning, Adam Leitch of the Daily Echo wrote that it remains to be seen what would happen if Liverpool submitted a bid of around £60million.

So far, Southampton have not yet received a bid for van Dijk with Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City all interested.

Both Liverpool and Southampton will start the season without van Dijk in their teams and while one of them will have him in three week’s time, neither Jürgen Klopp nor Mauricio Pellegrino will want to start the season without the Dutchman in his side.

Liverpool play Watford away tomorrow with kickoff scheduled for 12:30 BST.

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